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ENGL 057 - Critical Connections in Reading and Writing III - Thayer: Articles

General Article Databases

These databases include full-text articles in magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals in a variety of subject areas.

Scholarly vs. Popular Periodicals (Vanderbilt)

Scholarly vs. Popular Video Transcript

As a college student, you will quickly discover that when using periodicals for research it is important to know the difference between scholarly and popular periodicals. Periodicals are publications that are published regularly. Scholarly periodicals are known as journals, while popular periodicals are called magazines. The sources of information that you use for the papers and presentations in your classes will be evaluated by your professors, so it is necessary to evaluate the authority of your sources before using them. scholarly periodicals are considered scholarly because their articles are written by experts. Most scholarly articles are then evaluated by other experts before they are published in a process called peer review. periodicals that require this process for articles are also called peer-reviewed journals. you will want to use scholarly periodicals as much as possible because they are considered authoritative. If you are able to see the print copies of periodicals it can be easy to distinguish between magazines and journals. Magazines usually have flashy covers and lots of advertisements inside. well with journal covers are usually plain and contain few or no advertisements. If you find a periodical at a newsstand or in a grocery store it is most likely a magazine. Journals are usually bought directly from the publisher. you should be aware that newspapers are also considered popular periodicals. if you find an article online however this distinction can be much trickier to make here are some things to look for in a scholarly article. First, you should look for credentials such as Ph.D. or affiliation with a university after the author's name. The article should contain an abstract which summarizes the main points of the article. Many times, there will be a short biography establishing the author's involvement with the subject and possibly listing the author's credentials. there will also be footnotes or a bibliography at the end of the article listing the author's sources of information. This allows the reader to consult and verify the material the author used. a scholarly article will also contain specialized vocabulary showing that the author has in-depth knowledge of the subject. the length of the article is useful to look at as well. popular articles are usually brief one to five pages whereas scholarly articles are usually much longer. while doing research you may come across trade or professional publications that are written for a very specific audience such as managers or administrators in business finance and industry. articles found in these publications are sometimes written by experts and other times are written by journalists they're published quickly to alert people in a particular business of new trends or technology so even though the author may be an expert it is unlikely that articles have gone through a peer-review process. you should use these articles cautiously. lastly, you should know that there are some gray areas when deciding if an article is scholarly or not so if you have questions about whether you should use an article for a paper or project you should consult your professor.

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